The federal trial has begun for Florida’s election integrity law, signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) last May. Before the law came into effect, it was known by its legislative number, SB 90. After DeSantis signed SB 90, numerous legal challenges were filed immediately.
The law included a number of election integrity safety measures including: limited ballot drop box access to early voting hours, banned the submission of two or more vote-by-mail ballots during an election, and required vote-by-mail requests to be done every election cycle.
The bill was quickly derided in the media as a type of “Jim Crow” legislation restricting voting rights, but the bill incorporated grand jury recommendations from a 2012 voter fraud case in Miami-Dade County.
Brad Ashwell from the group All Voting is Local, contended to WCTV, that the bill does make it harder for people to vote.
“There is no question SB 90 makes it harder for people to vote, whether it be registering to vote, making it harder for third-party voter registration groups to operate, or to vote by mail, making drop boxes less accessible,” said Ashwell.
League of Women Voters of Florida President Cecile Scoon, who is challenging the Florida law, testified in court that the law is making voting processes difficult.
“These additional changes were not needed,” Scoon said in court. “All these kinds of limitations are being placed on people for imaginary problems that have never been demonstrated … fears that have not happened.”
Scoon continued her testimony by saying that the law is intimidating voter registration volunteers and voters by making voting uncomfortable.
“People have been very intimidated by the changes in the law,” Scoon said. “They are worried they are going to be accused of doing something wrong. They are worried that they’re not going to be able to explain warnings that are hard to explain.”
Florida State Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-District 12) originally sponsored the bill. When The Florida Capital Star asked for a comment, Baxley’s office said he does not comment on pending legal matters.
The trial is expected to take a couple of weeks and is being heard by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker.
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